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I-205 Improvements Project Will Bring Businesses and Local Workforce Opportunities

The I-205 Improvements Project is currently seeking contractor bids to construct the first phase of the project, creating an earthquake-ready Abernethy Bridge and improving adjacent interchanges. There is a 14% Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) construction goal on this phase of the project. Disadvantaged Business Enterprises are certified small businesses that are at least 51% owned by: 

  • People who identify as Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-Pacific Islander or Subcontinental Asian 
  • Women and other individuals on a case-by-case basis 

One strategy we used to position these businesses for success on this project is by hosting virtual “Meet the Primes” matchmaking events to prepare prime contractors and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises for the bidding process. We are also asking the project contractor to provide small business capacity strengthening, technical assistance and performance metrics.  

In addition to supporting DBEs, the project is participating in a pilot program under the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to increase workforce development opportunities by coordinating local hiring preferences in economically distressed zip codes in Multnomah, Marion, Clackamas and Washington counties.  

Economically distressed zip codes experience lower income levels, lower education levels, and lower employment levels. We expect 8% of the total 1.1-1.5 million labor hours will be from residents of identified zip codes.  Read more about the project’s workforce and business opportunities.   

We will bring the contractor on board in April and construction should be underway by early summer 2022. Once the first phase of construction is complete, travelers on I-205 will experience an earthquake ready Abernethy Bridge and improved OR 43 and OR 99E interchanges.  

Everyone who travels on I-205 in the project area is encouraged to sign up for project updates via email or text message to learn about upcoming meetings and events and stay up to date on construction activities once it begins.